Cross Keys to reopen after a dramatic £500k transformation

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Work has started on a major refurbishment of The Cross Keys! As has been strongly rumoured for some time, local residents Carlos Maidana and Joy Roberts are taking it over and investing in a £500,000 refurbishment. The couple already run the award-winning Grouse & Ale in Lane End and the very popular Yew Tree at Frieth.

The pub is expected to open in April, and the information below has been provided by Star Pubs & Bars ….

A £500,000 refurbishment of The Cross Keys on Spittal Street in Marlow town centre breaks ground this week to reopen the formerly troubled pub after a year-long closure ending local uncertainty about the venue’s future.

It will transform The Cross Keys into an old-world city pub harking back to the Victorian era, but with a drinks range in line with the latest trends and featuring one of the widest selections of craft beers and spirits in the area

Carlos and Joy intend to rename the pub to signal its change of direction and are considering new names which will celebrate Marlow’s history.

Work has begun with the pub scheduled to open in April creating over twenty full and part time jobs.

The dramatic redesign will strip out the inside of the building to create a spacious, comfortable old world bar with real fires and deep leather seating. It will focus on drinks with an extensive range including 16 pumped beers, 40 whiskeys and 80 wines, 24 available by the glass. As well as having an outstanding craft gin offering and its own locally distilled gin, the pub will host distilling classes and, in time, have an on-site distillery.

In contrast to the traditional bar, a modern extension on the back of The Cross Keys is being converted into an open plan kitchen with a 48 cover restaurant serving a flexitarian menu of light modern classics with an emphasis on plant based options.

Outside, the couple intends to improve the frontage of the pub so it is more in keeping with the architecture of other Spittal Street buildings.  At the rear of the building, they will be creating a sun garden with seating for 60.

Says Carlos: “Joy and I have known The Cross Keys for twenty years but as it has always been so different to the kinds of pubs we run, we never dreamt we’d take it on.

“It’s sad to see a closed pub – especially when it’s in the middle of your local town – and it galvanised us to take a look. We wanted to do something about it and bring The Cross Keys back to life for people to enjoy once again. There are very few independent traditional pubs remaining in Marlow’s centre and feedback from residents is that this is what they would like to see. There are already plenty of good bars and restaurants, you have to be exceptional to succeed here and we want to create the very best of traditional pubs.”

The couple also aims to make the restaurant different to others in Marlow. “With so many well used gyms in the area and a big rowing and cycling community, we felt there had to be room for a pub with dining that puts healthy but delicious food centre stage,” adds Carlos.

Says Star Pubs & Bars operations director Neil Convery: “Carlos and Joy have a proven track record of creating well-loved pubs in the area and beyond. As local people, they know and care about Marlow and understand what residents want. They have enormous vision and enthusiasm and we’re delighted to be working with them to reopen The Cross Keys and set it on a new and exciting course.”

Article author: Paul Merchant

About the author: Founded in its original version back in 2000 - yes the internet DID exist back then. Brought up in Marlow, went to school here, now has children at the same schools. Quite clearly loves all things Marlow - hence spending over 2 decades doing this!

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